Word Hammer to host slam poetry event on Thursday
Strong language, personal issues and an emotional attachment are what the members of Word Hammer aim for every time they step on stage.
The registered student organization consists of poets and writers who practice slam poetry.
Word Hammer president and Vicksburg senior Ariel Vandenbosch joined the RSO freshman year. After taking a class about slam poetry and learning about Word Hammer, she quickly fell in love with it and the people participating in the group.
“There is a great energy in the club and it’s a diverse group of people who all care greatly, not just about the work they produce, but about each other,” Vandenbosch said. “We all work together to make each other better in our writing and performance.”
Word Hammer will be having their first public slam, “A Night of Slam Poetry,” at 7 p.m. Thursday in Park Library.
“They can expect strong performances and strong poetry,” Vandenbosch said. “They can expect to see a lot of passion in who we are and what we do…we have a great group of poets who are all very eager to perform, and the bigger the audience the better. Slam poetry begins with audience participation in mind, so we love when there are large groups of people who give us immediate feedback. It’s the whole reason we perform in the first place.”
During the event, three judges will be picked out of the audience to vote for their favorite poets of the night. The rest of the audience will be able to vote for their favorite poets of the night as well. Members are asking people to also bring in spare change to fundraise and help promote the club as well.
Commerce Township sophomore Nick Visger joined Word Hammer freshman year due to his interest in writing poetry while in high school. He said he not only has broken out of his shell while in Word Hammer, but now he can share anything with his group members.
“It’s a group that understands that what you say when its more personal,” Visger said. “I feel like the group brings good intentions and…it’s a really great group and I really enjoy being inside of it and I really enjoy the atmosphere of working with people who also want to write things. “
Word Hammer consists of poets with a variety of different styles and voices. From those who’s poems rock along to a beat similar to rappers to those who have an atypical performance style.
“The biggest thing I’ve found about Word Hammer that sets us apart from other slam groups is our diversity in performers,” Vandenbosch said. “We don’t silence anyone’s voice in this group. We allow people to be who they are and say what they need to say, and help them get better to achieve that in the best way possible.”
Detroit senior Joshua Taylor has been in the group for three years and has won several slams in the group.
“It’s been a great experience,” Taylor said. “I’ve been blessed to win a number of slams. I guess the real thing is that I don’t really focus on winning some, but making sure I get my message out so the audience understands the message I’m trying to get out to them and because of that I’ve been able to have some success of the slams.”
Visger hopes people not only have a good time at the slam, but that the group’s material touch each individual on a personal level.
“Every poem you will hear from every person, I guarantee you will be able to strike home with,” Visger said. “If you can’t, we’ve done something wrong.”
Emily Sirovy joined the group last year after one of her advisors talked her into it and being inspired by slam poets like Andrea Gibson.
“Their words can make you feel, they can make you do a lot,” the Farmington Hills senior said. “Songs and music is easy because it has the music to portray the emotion but when you only have words, you really have to get them right. So you convey what you want to convey and I think it’s awesome that some people have the ability to do that so well and I would like to be able to do that as well as them one day.”
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